The selection confirms Truro and Penwith College as delivering the very best for apprenticeships in Cornwall after it was one of only five further education colleges from across the whole country to receive the status.
Only the nation’s best apprenticeship providers were able to apply for ‘expert’ status and will now join the DfE’s 12-month pilot scheme that aims to positively impact apprenticeship opportunities for young people and increase apprenticeship jobs at small-to-medium sized businesses that are prevalent in Cornwall.
To achieve expert status the college had to demonstrate excellence across a strict range of criteria including top learner achievement rates, an exceptional rating for employer feedback and strong financial health.
The mark of excellence status provides Truro and Penwith College with, ‘special flexibilities and permissions’ within The Apprenticeship Service (TAS) that make it easier for employers to work in partnership with the college.
The college will now be in a position to support Cornwall’s micro businesses and SMEs, who may not have a dedicated HR or finance department, to administer TAS systems, including accessing funding and managing day-to-day TAS processes, opening up the possibility of apprenticeship recruitment to an even broader range of quality employers to further boost benefits to the economy and learner experiences.
Cornwall’s only ‘expert’ apprenticeship provider will now also receive ‘priority engagement opportunities’ with DfE officials though workshops and roundtables, to continue its industry leading work to develop quality apprenticeship programmes with top employers, that have been filling skills gaps in the Cornish economy and creating future-focused careers for people across the county.
The college’s innovative approach to apprenticeship development and partnerships with Cornwall’s top employers has already seen it introduce Cornwall’s only Nursing apprenticeships in partnership with local NHS trusts and the South West’s first Telecoms apprenticeship with Wildanet in recent times.
The college has also recently celebrated the fifth anniversary of its hospitality apprenticeship programme with top UK chef Paul Ainsworth and announced a new scheme that will see multiple learners start their careers annually with Imerys, the St Austell-based world-leader in mineral solutions.
Julie-Anne Sunderland, chief people officer at Wildanet, said: “We are delighted to be working with Truro and Penwith College, which has been particularly receptive to the idea of what we wanted to build and flexible in how we do that in partnership to develop a high-quality Apprenticeship programme supporting new talent and our highly skilled existing workforce.”
Unrivalled partnerships with Cornwall’s top employers have been coupled with multi-million-pound, state-of-the-art facilities investments that have seen the South West Institute of Technology building for engineering and digital skills open at Truro College along with new future-focused sustainable construction facilities and electric vehicles labs at both Truro and Penwith campuses.
Nursing simulation suites have also been introduced at Truro and the brand-new STEM and Health Skills Centre Bodmin, which opened its doors for the very first time in September.
The college is preparing for a busy period of student applications as the expert apprenticeship provider status is expected to make it the college of choice for learners young and old wishing to start a quality career with the very best apprenticeship employers and most appealing apprenticeship jobs, while learning from the college’s industry-expert tutors in the very best learning environments and facilities.
Employers and learners interested in apprenticeship training at Truro and Penwith College are invited to contact [email protected] to start their journey or visit www.truro-penwith.ac.uk to discover more.